Apr 9, 2011

Fire on Marlborough Street

During a Fire Escape Collapse in Boston, U.S.A. (1975)

On July 22, 1975, photograph Stanley J. Forman working for the Boston Herald American newspaper when a police scanner picked up an emergency: “Fire on Marlborough Street!”
Climbed on a fire truck, Forman shot the picture of Diana Bryant (19 years old) and her goddaughter, Tiare Jones (2 years old) when they fell helplessly. Diana Bryant was pronounced dead at the scene. The young girl lived. Despite a heroic effort, the fireman who tried to grab them had been just seconds away from saving the lives of both.

Photo coverage from the tragic event garnered Stanley Forman a Pulitzer Prize. But more important, his work paved the way for Boston and other states to mandate tougher fire safety codes.

The German post-punk band Abwärts use this photo for the cover of their first album "Amok Koma" back in 1980.

Apr 8, 2011

Child with Toy Hand Grenade

Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, New York City, U.S.A (1962)

The picture above was taken by the famous photographer Diane Arbus. It shows a boy*, with the left strap of his jumper awkwardly hanging off his shoulder, tensely holding his long, thin arms by his side. Clenched in his right hand is a toy grenade, and his left hand is held in a claw-like gesture; his facial expression is maniacal. Arbus captured this photograph by having the boy stand while moving around him, claiming she was trying to find the right angle. The boy became impatient and told her to "Take the picture already!" His expression conveys his exasperation and impatience with the whole endeavor, as the contact sheet for the shoot reveals. In other pictures, he is seen as a happy child.

The photograph was used, without permission, on the first version of the cover of the debut LP ".. And No One Else Wanted To Play" by Canadian punk band S.N.F.U. in 1984, and had to be replaced with drawing in subsequent editions because of copyright infringement.

The image is also used on the cover of American indie rock band Cloud Cult's debut album "Who Killed Puck?" and on the cover of the sametitled EP from 1984 of the hardcore/punk band from Netherlands called No Pigs.

An original print of the photograph sold for $408,000 in April 2005.

* The boy in the photograph is Colin Wood, son of tennis player Sidney Wood. An interview with Colin, with his recollections about Arbus taking this photograph, is presented in the BBC documentary "The Genius of Photography".

Apr 5, 2011

Punks are breaking!

In 1984 the greek newspapers of the time discover the "new enemy within". The Punks.

The occasion were the incidents that took place out of the Α.Σ.Ο.Ε.Ε. (High School of Economics and Commercial Sciences) in the centre of Athens, because the live solidarity concert that was going to take place for the anarchists that were in prison that time, cancelled by members of Κ.Ν.Ε. (Communist Youth of Greece).

The next day the articles of the press essentially heralding the attacks that would follow by the police and the goverment to the Exarchia Square's youth with the famous "virtue operations" (επιχειρήσεις αρετής).

"And now the...Sioux. Exarchia; after the drugs and anarchists, punks came with the shaved heads", the title of a terrorlust article of a newspaper in 14th of September 1984."...with the hair cut like a brush, usually dyed with different colours, scaring the elderly, throwing beer bottles and pissing anywhere".